Zend Optimizes PHP for Mobile in New Server, Studio Releases

Zend, the PHP company, announced Zend Server 6 and Zend Studio 10, its new platform and tools for building PHP apps.

Zend, a maker of software for PHP developers, has launched a new version of its application platform and tools for building PHP applications, particularly mobile apps.

Zend announced Zend Server 6, the latest version of its application platform for Web and mobile applications. The new release provides tools, processes and infrastructure to enable teams to streamline and simplify their collaboration. The platform features an automated deployment capability for taking an application from test to production, which leads to faster, less error-prone deployment of software releases.

This release is focused on helping developers prevent and avoid application failure. It features insight into root causes of problems, such as when an app does not perform in production as it did in development. And the new platform supports collaboration between development and operations teams, with developers having access to production debugging information in a controlled manner—in view-only mode.

New troubleshooting tools in the release include a process that records the underlying code execution so developers can go back and see where problems occur.

Zend Server 6 also features an API-based architecture that enables integration with a range of continuous integration and monitoring tools, such as Hudson, Jenkins, Nagios and HP OpenView. And it features support and the latest security updates for PHP and Zend Framework.

"Zend Server 6 is like insurance against the most common application issues," said Andi Gutmans, CEO of Zend, in a statement. "Zend clients have already been able to avoid challenges caused by lack of security patches or support by subscribing to Zend Server. Zend Server 6 takes it to the next level by providing a full toolset to help development and ops teams attack the most common causes of application failure—together.

"I am particularly excited to be giving back to our development community by offering access to a free version of Zend Server that lets them start receiving the benefit of Zend Server's advanced troubleshooting, performance diagnostic and debugging capabilities early in the development cycle," he said.

Developers can build faster apps by leveraging features such as bytecode, data object and URL-based page caching, and the ability to accelerate application code by parallelizing tasks with the Job Queue feature. There also are new debugging tools, including new Web services debugging, integrated across Zend Server and Zend Studio 10 integrated development environment (IDE), the latest version of Zend's toolset.

"Zend Server gives us real-time visibility and control in the production environment," said Robert Kerner, senior vice president and chief digital officer at NYSE Euronext, in a statement. "It proactively monitors the application, and code tracing acts like a flight recorder, providing root-cause diagnostics so we can resolve issues quickly and definitively. In one example, Zend Server helped us resolve a problem related to SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] in our replicated environment that might otherwise have gone undetected. Within three days of our first site launch, Zend helped us optimize performance by more than 200 percent."

Meanwhile, operations teams can use Zend Server 6 to manage and meet their application service-level agreement (SLA) commitments. They can avoid and resolve errors stemming from configuration issues, via proactive alerting and lockdown of unauthorized configuration changes. Monitoring dashboards enables operations teams to gauge application health at a glance and over time, including the ability to set different caching and monitoring rules for each application. Using performance dashboards, ops can manage and predict performance and peak loads, and rely on Zend Server's application failover to ensure high availability, the company said.

Zend also introduced a free version of Zend Server 6. As in the commercial editions, Zend Server free edition includes a certified PHP stack, PHP profiling and debugging. It also features application and server performance charting, tools for application deployment and monitoring, and the ability to manually generate code traces for advanced debugging. However, compared with the commercial editions, the free edition has limited data and metric retention periods, no technical support and limited production capabilities.

Zend Server 6 is available on-premise or in the cloud. Enterprises can leverage Zend Server with a variety of cloud infrastructure and management software, including IBM Smart Cloud, Amazon Web Services, VMware, Red Hat, RightScale and others. Zend Server can be purchased directly from Zend, through Zend's channel and cloud partners, and pricing starts at under $100 a month on the Amazon Web Services marketplace. Zend Framework, a PHP application framework, is also available as an integrated component of Zend Server.